The RAYS campaign was run by the same guys who did LEXG, the latter being one of the best pump and dumps last year-- ran from $1 to $10 in a short amount of time.
"Original Version" - 1080p, AVC uncompressed
"Standard Compression" - 480p, AVC uncompressed
"Raystream Version" - 480p H.264 AAC, ~1200kb data rate
Nothing that fishy here. They seem to be advertising to broadcasters. It's possible they have some nice custom algorithms for their videos. That isn't uncommon - take a look at Apple movie trailers and iTunes videos: they have their own magic juice too.
With that, maybe the investment is a scam, but posting a "hoax" via "ihatelawyers3" on github is waaaaaaay more suspect to me.
[EDIT] they seem to be pretty active for being supposedly fake. Check their twitter feed. They tweet as much if not more than most video companies and it's not fluff.
> x264 - core 112 - H.264/MPEG-4 AVC codec - Copyleft 2003-2010 - http://www.videolan.org/x264.html - options: cabac=1 ref=3 deblock=1:0:0 analyse=0x3:0 me=hex subme=7 psy=1 psy_rd=1.00:0.00 mixed_ref=1 me_range=16 chroma_me=1 trellis=0 8x8dct=1 cqm=0 deadzone=21,11 fast_pskip=1 chroma_qp_offset=-2 threads=6 sliced_threads=0 nr=0 decimate=1 interlaced=0 constrained_intra=0 bframes=3 b_pyramid=2 b_adapt=0 b_bias=0 direct=2 weightb=1 open_gop=0 weightp=0 keyint=250 keyint_min=24 scenecut=40 intra_refresh=0 rc_lookahead=40 rc=crf mbtree=1 crf=22.0 qcomp=0.70 qpmin=10 qpmax=51 qpstep=3 ip_ratio=1.41 aq=1:1.00
... the default x264 parameters. Yay!
But x264 isn't an awful one; it's the best, by a factor of ~30% over the nearest competition according to the most recent independent comparison (http://www.compression.ru/video/codec_comparison/h264_2011/). Every company loves to claim that their "custom magic algorithms" are amazing and magic, but when push comes to shove, nothing compares to what free software can put out, and this shows no signs of changing, at least before the release of HEVC.
If you have a "magic algorithm" that does better than the current state of the art, send it in to be benchmarked! I mean, if you can do better than the encoder used by Google, Youtube, Netflix, Facebook, and thousands of other companies around the world, surely you'll be able to get some customers if you publicize this super-amazing-magic algorithm, right?
Or maybe, like the thousands of other companies claiming the same, your "magic algorithm" is bullshit -- or a good idea, just already implemented in dozens of other encoders out there too, and you're demonstrating its efficacy by comparing it to a junk heap like Quicktime.
As to the business of selling said encoders, I couldn't agree with you more, if you've got something that improves the most widely used encoder then surely customers should be clamoring to get a hold of this algorithm. That is if you're selling it properly.
However, I was merely a contractor, and not making the business decisions. I worked with multiple contractors that thought similar things to yourself (myself included.) And when you're taking investor money, telling them that you're going to open source a technology that took 2+ years to develop, and hope that you'll make money from it is a great way to lose your investor money.
By what measurement, PSNR? x264 doesn't optimize for PSNR by default.
And when was this? x264 has improved dramatically in the past 4 years. In 2007, Mainconcept could beat x264 in many cases and Ateme's 2004 encoder was still sometimes better! There are cases where x264 has improved by a factor of 2 in this time period, or more.
You're also assuming that compression optimization can only occur in the encoder
Do you mean prefiltering? Such a thing is a dishonest comparison, as you can prefilter before using any particular encoder, and there are whole frameworks built for exactly that purpose which are widely used with x264 -- and other encoders too.
And when you're taking investor money, telling them that you're going to open source a technology that took 2+ years to develop, and hope that you'll make money from it is a great way to lose your investor money.
If your technology takes 2+ years to develop, your programmers are incompetent or your management is broken. Probably no single algorithm in x264's history has taken more than a few days to develop. Coming up with good ideas is a matter of thinking, combined with trial and error: once you have a idea that actually works, implementing it is dead trivial. The time-consuming part is the other 99 ideas you tried that didn't work so well -- and you can't plan for that.
The most apparent is whatever Apple's been using for years for their movie trailers. Not a single artifact, low data rate, etc. It's better than your average 2-pass. But who knows, the "magic" could simply be to start with uncompressed source...
Do you know you're not talking to some contractor, you're talking to the guy behind x264?
If you don't know him, read his analysis of VP8 (note copyright footer):
Having been in the streaming industry since the mid 90's, with heavy work in live and on demand encoding, I've seen dozens of these companies make similar claims, usually in pursuit of investment dollars. For years running, regardless of open source versus closed source, none stack up well against x264 when measured for the way people see video and for the resources taken to produce the encoded content.
You really don't have to read past the first graph:
This is an informative study, and has been for the last seven years. If you have a better compression that would let me, as a CDN, offer clients movie delivery to users with enough less bandwidth and storage it's worth retooling for, we're all ears. Again, I've talked to dozens upon dozens. None really had it. So far, given their original source, I could personally produce an even smaller x264 file that end users prefer.
There is a large market for proprietary optimised implementations of various codecs for use in industry. The same goes for mp3 and so on.
Unless people have found x264 headers left in the files, in which case, fail.
A good pump and dump scam requires a believable company presence. You just fell for the smoke screen.
Edit: after checking it out I am 95% certain that this is a fraud. shame there is no stock to short :( (even though it is +6% today)
See if you can guess which is which.
>Before Raystream, a one hour video converted to 720p using the best compression algorithms resulted in files in excess of 1 GB, far too large to be streamed over commercial Internet connections. Using Raystream, the same one hour 720p video can be compressed up to 90% of its original file size, which makes it easily streamable over connection speeds ranging from 0.4 to 1.0 Mbs per second." ... "Raystream compresses online videos, reducing their file size by up to 90%, with no loss in video quality or clarity."
That's not possible unless Raystream developed H.264. Apple uses H.264 for their encoding too. The magic is just H.264.
What is it about scammers and impossibly high compression? Is it because it's easy to explain but hard to prove the concept to non-tech savvy investors, or is it just because they read about it having been done before and copy it verbatim?
Guessing the latter, as there's other technologies (cryptography and semiconductor fabrication come to mind as easy to explain/hard to disprove) that could hoodwink unsophisticated investors.
Seriously - how is this not transparently fraud to people in the stock market? How is this not transparently fraud to everybody, actually? Or is it just praying on the hobbyist investors who are deluded into thinking "get rich quick" works for ordinary folks while the people "in the know" are delighted to have an army of zombies to commandeer?
Would be great to hear if anybody has some insight into how fraudsters like this are prosecuted (or avoid prosecution).
Wow, their first 'contract' is with a company called edgefactory OMNIMEDIA, which I think is owned by martha stewart OMNIMEDIA?
edit: Wow, I just posted a link to this article and this thread on their facebook account and now the item has been deleted off their wall within minutes. everyone should let me know....
Looking at the uncompressed vs Raystream videos, it's difficult to tell if it's doing anything more than h264, x264, or neither. The conclusion being made by the OP may be true, it may not; likely they're exaggerating their marketing to look better than they truly are.
One of the marketing tricks they're using to make their technology look better than it is, is by not showing the videos side by side. Viewing them side by side, it's easy to see that Raystream's video lose quality in their color complexity, image sharpness, and some artifacting shows up if you know what to look for (I can do up some comparison images if anyone is interested.)
When we were testing our compression technology we would run our video through acid tests (difficult video to test the limits of the encoders.) We had a variety of acid tests, and depending upon encoder settings we could tweak each video to look good - however the problem was getting all of the acid test videos to look good at the same settings.
So while Raystream may be able to encode a promotional video that has very low complexity scenes, that doesn't mean this tech is any good at high complexity scenes. In fact, most of the scenes in the promo video our encoders would have had no trouble doing. Things like sports, live concerts, trees, or complex water (the surfer wasn't nearly complex enough, and the original quality of the humming bird wasn't good enough to produce a noticeable difference) were what we used to test our encoders.
I also notice they've got a "Live Streaming" section on their site. On demand content is easy to do, relative to live streaming. For on demand content you have no bounds like cpu, or ram, the biggest barrier is disk io and time to encode. Whereas live streaming is extremely complex. They claim they can do 1.7 Mbs live streaming; we were able to do 1.5 Mbs and less, but at that point the quality suffers significantly, and the video would infrequently go blocky for a frame or two. The only use case is for TVs that no one is going to get close to.
There comes a certain point with this type of technology where you can't stuff a 100 pieces of data, into a container that only holds 10 pieces of data. It doesn't matter how good your compression algorithm is.
Side note: The example streams are progressive download. I pulled one down and had a look. It uses AAC for the audio codec. They are not listed on VIA's licening page. (http://www.vialicensing.com/licensing/aac-licensees.aspx) As a comercial company, they should be hip to this kind of stuff.
Of course, this company may be a pump-and-dump, but it is also true that some kind of super-clever encoding algorithm may exist that would be much better than existing encoders and still run fine on existing phone codecs. That is, the fact that they claim an algorithm produces correctly-formatted mpeg is not a disqualifying factor.
Not that I don't believe it's a hoax...
Registrar ID: CORE-123 (Klute-Thiemann Informationstechnologie GmbH & Co.KG)
Created On: 2005-06-16 19:22:24 GMT
Last Updated On: 2011-09-15 12:17:38 GMT
Expiration Date: 2012-06-16 19:22:24 GMT
Registrant ID: COCO-10657700
Registrant Name: Roman Rumpf
Registrant Organization: Raystream Inc
Registrant Street: 2101 Midway Road, Suite 140
Registrant City: Carrollton
Registrant State/Province: Texas
Registrant Postal Code: 75006
Registrant Country: US
Registrant Phone Ext:
Registrant Fax Ext:
Registrant Email: email@example.com
If you've ever played a video game that was too much for your system, you've seen 6fps before, and you know it is intolerable.
That's my take on it, I really wish the author would have elaborated more on the result.
The Commission is authorized by Congress to provide monetary awards to eligible individuals who come forward with high-quality original information that leads to a Commission enforcement action in which over $1,000,000 in sanctions is ordered. The range for awards is between 10% and 30% of the money collected.
Revolutionary scrolling banner technology.
If you're confident it's a pump and dump and it will fall you could short it, of course.
Probably because it isn't their area. Stock frauds and pump-and-dumps should be reported to the sec:
They are getting better at investigating them :)
What's going on here?
bash$ mencoder -ovc x264 -oac mp3lame -x264encopts \
-o hoax.avi ray_480p_normal.mp4
then o god o god.. is this a porn?
Their product is a standard recommended video optimization.
The people behind RayStream are either lying and/or don't understand what they are talking about.
Basically they're claiming something revolutionary, which in the end is just using the x264 encoder with the right fine-tuned options.
There are quite literally dozens of scam companies built off x264, claiming in many cases that they made an "incredible" magical proprietary encoder with "revolutionary" compression. Of course they just run x264.
Fortunately it is extremely easy to identify an x264-encoded stream, even if all the headers are stripped and rewritten: it would be extremely difficult to modify x264 to cloak such a stream entirely unless you knew the code line for line, and even then, some of the features of x264 that are responsible for much of its compression advantage are extremely obvious in an analyzer (variance adaptive quantization).
Default is 7. This makes compression worse.
Higher than the default, but for negligible gain. This is only enabled on the slowest presets.
Higher than the default, for small gain.
Default is 3; 5 gives small gain.